Where Are The Best Places To Kayak In Florida?
When people think about the tourist destinations in Florida, they usually picture palm trees, white sandy beaches, and Orlando theme parks. But Florida can certainly offer more. Itâs one of the top vacation destinations in the country for a reason, after all.
The Sunshine State also has a diverse natural landscape thatâs perfect for kayakers, adventure seekers, sightseers, and nature lovers. You can relax, unwind, and enjoy the view of some of the most pristine paddling trails in the country.
Since you're looking to make a trip to one of Florida's amazing waterways, consider reading this article, "What To Look For In A Roof Top Kayak Carrier"
Here weâre listing down some of the best kayaking destinations you wouldnât want to miss.
At Ichetucknee Springs, you will find crystalline, ice-cold waters flowing from fresh water springs and feeding into the Ichetucknee River. Itâs a National Natural Landmark and is well known for having some of the clearest water in the world.
It is located in the heart of agricultural flat lands in North Florida and is open all year round for kayaking and canoeing. Seasonally, Ichetucknee Springs is even open for tubing and swimming. But if you are more interested in taking your kayak and paddling through pristine, clear waters, then this is a great place to visit no matter what time of the year.
Visit Ichetucknee Springs during the weekdays in off-season and you may catch a glimpse of river otters, blue herons, turtles, and more. You will also see ancient moss-covered Cyprus and limestone banks that are perfect for a few photo ops. Talk about a relaxing day in Florida.
Rainbow Springs is very popular. And if you ever travel further west in North Central Florida, you should definitely stop by. This first magnitude spring pumps fresh water into Rainbow River.
In a gentle current, it flows 6 miles into the Withlacoochee River. If you want to go on a refreshing water adventure, this is a great choice: there are plenty of flora and fauna to admire along the way, plus the moss-covered pine and Cyprus. Just like Ichetucknee Springs, Rainbow River has plenty of turtles and river otters.
You will be launching at Rainbow Springs Park in Dunnellon, where the paddling trail will take you past the Ocala National Forest, and then cruise all the way back to a loop in Rainbow Springs. Rainbow Springs happens to be the fourth largest spring in the state.
It was designated as a National Natural landmark in 1972. Although it was originally a tourist attraction in the 1930s, it is now a protected wilderness area, which only serves to preserve its beauty. Kayak rentals are available at the park if you want to explore this place of magnificent beauty.
Manatee River is situated in West Central Florida, and is one of the finest paddling trails in the state, flowing 46 miles through Manatee County to Tampa Bay. Itâs a popular spot among kayakers, and the Upper Manatee River Run is a great place to soak your paddles.
The trail is a 9-mile paddle stretch that runs from Fort Hamer Country Park to Manatee Dam. This is actually the perfect pick for beginners because itâs not too challenging. The place is made more beautiful by the moss-covered mangroves, pine, and scrub.
This is a great kayaking destination if you want to see even more wildlife. You can watch out for birds, manatees, and other wildlife. On the weekdays, the river is mostly empty, so you can feel like you have the whole place all to yourself. The experience is truly exhilarating. Bring your own gear or rent one for the day.
If you get tired, there are sandbars along the way where you can stop off for a picnic and stretch your legs.
The city life is fast-paced and stressfulâand if you want to shake off the stress, head to Cedar Key. Sometimes the top destinations are littered with tourists, and thatâs not really ideal. But this quaint fishing village off the Gulf of Mexico is the perfect getaway.
It offers pink and purple hued sunsets if you stick around until the evening, and all throughout the day you can enjoy kayaking. Itâs a great place for paddling. It starts off as a 30-minute paddle to the historic Island of Atsena Otie, which is an ancient Native American water trail.
After exploring and admiring the beauty of Cedar Key, you can paddle back to shore under a Florida coast sunset. Take your time to spot wildlife like blue herons and eagles.
If you visit during the summer time, youâll get to see the return of Leatherback turtles. If youâre lucky, you might even catch a glimpse of dolphins playing around in the gentle blue waters.
This one is right in the heart of the bustling metropolis of Miami. You might be surprised to see this beautiful mangrove forestâit is the largest urban park in the US. Kayaking is a great way to explore all of the inlets of Oleta River, including the Haulover Inlet nearbyâthat is, if your arms are ready for a workout.
Stop by the 200 ft. sandy beach for a swim. There are also plenty of nature trails to explore and enjoy. You will also find lots of local flora and fauna that are typical of South Florida.
Even if youâre a beginner, you can enjoy the wonders of Oleta River because there are guided tours available. But this one is also suitable for those who want to explore on their own. The place is large enough to offer many different choices, and itâs up to you how you want to enjoy your adventure.
Our Recommendation: The EZ Rec-Rack Roof Top Kayak Loading System
If youâre going to invest on a kayak carrier, why not go for one of the best in the market? With the EZ Rec-Rack Roof Top Loading System for kayaks, you can load your kayak all by yourselfâand in just a little over a minute! EZ Rec-Rack makes the easiest to load, roof-mounted carrier, you can strap your kayak on and then easily slide it on top of the minivan.
This piece of innovation was developed, crafted, and patented by Ira Mercurio after realizing that this has never been done before. With the right attachments, you can load your paddle boards, surf boards, cargo boxes, etc!
This multipurpose loading system gives kayakers the ability to just enjoy their trip and not sweat the small stuff. This way, you can focus more of your energy on having fun and doing what you love: whether itâs a relaxing trip on peaceful lakes, or a more challenging adventure in twisting rivers.